Blanket Bog Management and Restoration

Client: BirdWatch Ireland

Sphagnum hummock in blanket bog, Killarney National Park, photo by Jenni Roche

Ecologists from BEC Consultants are working with hydrologists from RPS Ireland Ltd on a blanket bog restoration project at Fiddandarry Bog, Co. Sligo. With funding provided by CABB (Cooperation Across Borders for Biodiversity), BirdWatch Ireland are due to initiate a program of drain blocking on the state-owned blanket bog during 2019. Prior to this BEC Consultants and RPS Group Ireland will be collecting vegetation and hydrological information and establishing a monitoring programme to assess the impacts of drain blocking post-restoration (in 2021). Advice will also be provided on the number, location and most suitable type of material for blocking the drains.

This multi-disciplinary project will review all existing ecological information for the site through a desk survey and will rely heavily on the LiDAR data to model flow paths and to predict flow direction after drain blocking. Hydrological data will be collected using piezometers with automated level loggers. Flow regime will be monitored at key surface water drainage channels to enable runoff characteristics to be evaluated. Ecological information will be collected through vegetation mapping and microtopographic variation of the bog surface will be recorded using nanotopes. In addition, 4 m² monitoring stops will be established to allow consideration of changes in vegetation composition.

These ecological and hydrological monitoring data will allow an assessment of the success, or otherwise, of the restoration measures.